By Michael Otero
After being slated at no. 2 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division II Top-25-Poll, the men’s soccer team traveled to Rochester, N.Y., for a battle with Roberts Wesleyan College on Friday, Oct. 14.
Although the team owns the sixth-highest scoring average in Division II, its defense was its calling card as it pitched a 1-0 shutout for the 10th victory of the season. The Pioneers are currently 10-0-1 on the season, and 3-0-1 in conference play.
“The atmosphere is great,” said David Arvidsson, junior back and team captain, about the quest the team is on. “We have the mentality that we’re going to win the game regardless of the opponent, but it’s very important to always be humble.
The lone goal came in the 13th minute off the foot of Arvidsson. He ripped a shot over the goalie’s outstretched arms and under the crossbar for his first goal of the season. Senior midfielder Harry Pearse assisted on the goal.
The defense for the Pioneers was stellar, limiting Roberts Wesleyan to six shorts, non of which found the back of the net. On the flip side, the Pioneers totaled 12 shots, good enough for a 2:1 advantage, which helped the Pioneers come out with the victory. Pearse led the offense with his total of six shots, non of which connected.
In the net, senior goalkeeper Jesper Malmstrom tied a game-high in saves with five. “Not facing many shots is a sign that the team is doing well, both in possessing the ball and on defense,” Malmstrom said on his performance. “As a keeper you just have to make sure to be ready for the few game-changing moments, and do your part to keep a clean sheet.” Speaking of clean sheets, Malmstrom recorded his fourth shutout of the season.
In its next matchup against Daemen College on Sunday, Oct. 16, the team unleashed its prolific offense and exploded for seven first-half goals to win on enemy territory.
In the first half, Ardivsson and sophomore midfielder Charlie Ledula each netted two goals, while Pearse, sophomore back Nico Kjaer Andersen and freshman forward Gianluca Santacruz tallied single goals apiece. The Pioneers held a more than 20-shot edge against Daemen and cruised to an 8-1 victory.
Head Coach Andreas Lindberg and the Pioneers return to the pitch on Thursday, Oct. 20, against Molly College. Kickoff in Rockville Centre, N.Y., is scheduled for 7 p.m.